Czechia has plans to pave the way for Qatar gas

Qatar is one of the world’s largest producers of liquefied natural gas. It is Qatar’s LNG shipments that could help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian gas, which has stopped flowing to several EU countries after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

The Czech Republic is completely dependent on Russian gas, and the government of Petr Fiala (ODS) will have to find ways to get gas from sources other than the country of the future Putin regime.

Qatar can help, and that is the reason why, according to Seznam Zpráv’s findings, negotiations between the Czech Republic and Qatar regarding the opening of embassies in both countries are now intensifying. The Czechs are interested in gas supplies, while Qatar wants to invest in the Czech Republic. For that, they demand guarantees from the state that their funds will be processed here.

The ruler of Qatar, Emir Tamim ibn Hamad Al-Sani, must also arrive in Prague in the summer.

Protect our investment

Building closer ties with the Qatari monarchy is being worked on at several levels. Preparations are in full swing for the opening of the Czech embassy in the Qatari capital, Doha, which will take place in early July.

“Qatar is one of the world’s largest LNG exporters. Big deals are not made in this area without official (state) support. For the EU in general and for the Czech Republic in particular, the establishment of an embassy in Doha, Qatar is a very important step,” Deputy Foreign Minister Jiří Kozák (ODS) told Seznam Zprávám.

Politically, preparations for the Qatari embassy in Prague were more complicated. Qatar made deeper cooperation with the Czech Republic on contract terms that would protect their investment. This is primarily an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which is now being prepared by the two countries’ finance ministries.

“The Qatari side has expressed interest in opening a resident embassy in Prague soon. The text of the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation has been negotiated and the agreement will be signed by the finance ministers at the next appropriate opportunity, either as part of their negotiations in Qatar or in the Czech Republic. “Technical negotiations between experts from the finance ministries of the two countries regarding an investment protection and support agreement have started,” Deputy Kozák explained.

Ambassador wanted

Preparations for the Czech embassy in Doha have been going on since September 2021. The building is ready and the staffing of the embassy is now being finalized. The first diplomats and administrative workers have gone to the site.

“The ministry is currently carrying out the selection process for the systematic placement of long-term staff from positions in the new office. During May, Dušan Králík will be sent to Doha, who in the capacity of charge d’affaires ad interim will take over the management of our embassy until the arrival of the resident ambassador ,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Kozák.

The name of the new Czech ambassador to Qatar is now being finalized. As you will find out, it has to be approved by the Qatari side. The embassy should start its activities in early July. “In order for the Czech Republic to properly carry out the functions of the EU local presidency from 1 July 2022 in Doha. The EU delegation has not yet been formed in Doha,” Deputy Kozák added.

Invitation to the Emir

After the outbreak of Russia’s war on Ukraine, more and more European politicians flocked to Doha to negotiate LNG supplies, which could at least partially reduce the old continent’s dependence on Russian gas in the future. In March, for example, Germany’s Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habeck struck a deal with wealthy Qatari ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.


Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

According to Seznam Zpráv, it was he who wanted to go to Prague during the summer months to finalize the deal between the Czech Republic and Qatar. The Foreign Ministry would not comment on a possible visit by the emir.

However, Emir Ál Thaní’s interest in visiting the Czech Republic was confirmed by Peter Závodský, adviser to the Qatari ambassador in Berlin (he is now in charge of the Czech Republic due to the absence of an embassy in Prague), Peter Závodský.

“I can confirm that His Majesty agreed to visit the Czech Republic and after the signing of the bilateral agreement between the Czech Republic and Qatar – namely the agreement on avoidance of double taxation and investment protection – the Emir’s visit can be made not only out of courtesy, but also of a business nature,” said Seznam Zprávám Závodský .

The Slovak manager heads the Chamber of Commerce for the state Council for Cooperation of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), which has established a network of business-political contacts in Qatar. Závodský was close, for example, to the influential Qatari ambassador in Germany, to whom he acted as advisor.

Race in March accompanied the chancellor of the castle Vratislav Mynář, who brought the invitation to Doha to Prague for Emir Ál Thaní. The head of the Chamber of Commerce for the Gulf States defended Mynář’s expedition arguing that the president was primarily a policy partner of the Qatari monarchy – which is why the president’s chancellor should have accepted an invitation to the emir.

Roderick Glisson

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